My wife (much more hot-tempered than me) writes to the Globe:
Hello Boston Globe:
My husband and I are long-time Boston Globe subscribers. The paper gets more irritating with every passing week. For now we’ll pass over issues of writing quality, your lack of focus on what is truly newsworthy (hint: it’s not Brady and Giselle), and recurring problems with home delivery. Today we will focus only on access to the Archives.
I have just spent 15 minutes trying to find an obituary in the Boston Globe Archives. Several times your website rejected my username/password. Finally I logged in the “Extras” page which accepted my credentials. Why do you have multiple login locations, apparently requiring separate credentials? Do you WANT to confuse and exasperate your subscribers?
But that’s not all. When I finally logged in successfully and found the obituary, up popped a screen that informed me that you are doing maintenance on the archives for TWENTY DAYS! And that in the meantime, I must PAY for access. I already pay, so no thank you. But it is perplexing that maintenance apparently does not interfere with paid access to the archives, just with so-called free access. How long would it take a programmer to fix that, perhaps another twenty days?
As everyone knows, The Boston Globe is in big trouble. Presumably you want to overcome your difficulties and stay alive, if not in print format, then online. If so, the least you must do is provide efficient, user-friendly support to those who support you.
Today we received in the U.S. Mail an offer to subscribe to The Boston Globe at a relatively attractive weekly rate with free access to the Globe Reader, perhaps a first step to moving readers to online subscriptions. Why, pray tell, would we be eager to use the Reader when our experience with your online offerings is one of such poor organization and service?
It is way past time for you to get cracking. In the meantime, the mantra about the Globe at our house has become, “The Boston Globe: owned by moguls, written and run by interns.” Everyone with whom we share it nods their heads in agreement. Many of them say they no longer read the Globe.